At Mendeley, we are always looking for ways to make the research process more efficient. We believe in the power of big data and creative analysis to change how research is done in big and trivial ways. For example, with the massive amount of documents in our database, we have the power to analyze successful publications vs. less successful publications based on the characteristics of the documents, and then incorporate this knowledge into our product to help researchers work better. In solidarity with our brothers at Google, we feel that A/B testing on enough data will always lead to the optimal design choice, even for complex design situations. Read on to see the first fruits of our font legibility study.
What’s the best font for academic publications?
Based on sophisticated A/B testing of reading times over our corpus of 80M documents, we have determined the optimal font for research comprehension, which will now become standard across all Mendeley platforms. Click the link for a bigger picture.
This is just a start. We will be conducting further studies along these lines, such as using a Naïve Bayes approach to find the most important components of papers accepted into the top journal in your field. Initial results suggest that by using the optimal amount of industry-specific terminology, engineering your subordinate phrases to the precise number and length to make the reader feel like you’re smarter than he is, and choosing words most favored by a journal editor, you can increase your chances of acceptance in your targeted journal by up to 30.13%. For example, using “obviously” in place of “clearly”, and “demonstrate” in place of “show” is predicted to increase your chances of acceptance into Nature by 5.63%, but only if the manuscript is submitted before 16:00 GMT on a Tuesday when it is raining in London.
We’ve always said we would change how research is done, and this is only the start.